January 15, 2021
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Industry Watch
Online grocer Mercato found that the three best-selling wines in the early stages of the pandemic, from March 22 through July 2020, were all from California: Bread & Butter cabernet sauvignon, Crane Lake chardonnay 2019 and Bread & Butter pinot noir were first, second and third in sales, respectively. Meanwhile, Mercato saw sales of alcohol as a percentage of total grocery spending increase by 686.9% over the week of May 17, 2020, versus the week of March 22, 2020.
Full Story: The Roanoke Times (Va.) (1/15) 
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Ohio's Division of Liquor Control reports that sales hit $1.57 billion in 2020, an increase of 18% over 2019 and 27% over 2018. The state's consumers purchased 16.75 million gallons of high-proof liquor in 2020 versus 15.24 million gallons sold the year previous, according to the agency.
Full Story: The Business Journals (tiered subscription model) (1/15) 
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Although growers in Sonoma County, Calif., are estimated to have sustained losses that run as high as 30% of their 2020 grape crop, or roughly $150 million based on a cumulative average, Glenn Proctor of broker Ciatti Co. advised that "we think activity is going to be better" this year in an address at the Sonoma County Winegrowers' Dollar and Sense trade event. In the wake of the California fires, 2020's cabernet sauvignon inventory has largely been exhausted, which will bring in more bulk wine buyers, Proctor added.
Full Story: The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.) (1/14) 
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2021 Foodservice Innovation Awards
SmartBrief is partnering with The National Restaurant Association to launch an inaugural Innovation Awards for Foodservice. In 2020, the industry has shown adaptability and resilience in the face of the most challenging times. If you have a product providing sustainability, technology, or safety and health solutions, consider nominating it today!
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Trends & Innovations
Wine enthusiasts and sommeliers are setting up their own natural wine-focused businesses in cities around the Midwest, filling a gap in the market for their favorite vintages. New York City transplants Mark Henry and Gretchen Skedsvold opened Henry & Son after finding a dearth of low-intervention wines in Minneapolis, while Frederique Boudouani launched distributor Abu Nawas Beverage as a means to get natural wines on the menu at the Algerian restaurant he co-owns in Elkader, Iowa.
Full Story: Wine Enthusiast Magazine online (1/14) 
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SmartBrief Originals
Most Clicked: Take a look at this week's hottest food and beverage industry stories with SmartBrief's Top 10 list.
The launch of a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans this week with $284 billion earmarked for restaurants and other small businesses topped this week's Top 10 list. Flynn Restaurant Group's deal to acquire 196 Wendy's units and 925 Pizza Hut restaurants from NPC International also made this week's most-read list.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Food & Travel (1/15) 
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Government & Regulatory Affairs
While the pandemic sidelined a new law enabling Utah's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to purchase wine club subscriptions by proxy for individuals, setting aside funding for the program is among a spate of alcohol-related measures the state's legislature will address this year. Allowing more bar licenses and budgeting for a possible four new state-run liquor stores are also on the agenda.
Full Story: The Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City) (1/15) 
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Operations
Smart leaders recognize when they're being overtaken by bad habits such as trying to control everything, creating too many rules or thinking they don't need feedback or advice, writes Lolly Daskal. "Even smart, committed leaders have blind spots, and you may be needlessly frustrating and irritating people with unthinking behavior and attitudes," she writes.
Full Story: Lolly Daskal (1/14) 
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How to help your team all year, not just January
(Pixabay)
The new year doesn't wipe away ongoing challenges, so leaders must continue to be resilient, compassionate, consistent and encouraging to help employees be inspired and motivated, writes Julie Winkle Giulioni. "Leaders who train their eyes to find and celebrate the positive inspire the same in those around them," she writes.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (1/14) 
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WSWA News
Members save on Small Package Shipping with UPS
DSI has negotiated a program with UPS to bring WSWA wholesaler members significant savings on their small package shipping needs. This program includes discounts for air, ground, commercial, residential and more. To find out more about this program and take advantage of the savings available to WSWA Wholesaler Members (only), current and new customers need to contact DSI General Manager Ali Comeaux at 303-277-3359 or via email.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.
Melinda Gates,
philanthropist, advocate for women and girls
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